Clicker Training your Cat
Dr Jess Beer, Pet Behaviourist, gives us a brief introduction into clicker training your cat. Clicker training is a very simple, positive reinforcement tool that teaches your cat to perform certain behaviours and then be rewarded for them. It encourages a really good positive relationship between you and your cat, and also allows you to get all sorts of fancy tricks out of them.
The first step is teaching them what the click means. And in this case, Jess is using some yummy wet food as a reward with beautiful little Vanji. Jess starts by clicking and then giving Vanji a little of the wet food and then repeats this several times. For Vanji, the smell of the wet food is now telling her that good things are coming.
Eventually after you do this 10-15 times, a few times a day, your cat will know that when the click happens, they're doing the right thing. Some cats might be a bit scared of the clicker so you might want to wrap a light cloth around it or wrap it up in your hand to dull the sound slightly.
Step-by-step Clicker Points
Step 1: Get yourself ready with your clicker in one hand, some wet food or cat treats in the other, and your cat nearby.
Step 2: Begin by clicking, and then giving your cat a small treat. Repeat this several times, at different stages of the day and over several days, so that your cat begins to learn that when there's a click, they're doing the right thing.
Step 3: Now it's time to add some words or gestures and then click & reward when they do it. For your cat, the click is showing that it's a job well done.
And that’s it! Enjoy teaching, having fun and building a strong relationship with your feline friends.